1. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
    A new VR installation will allow Londoners to understand the life process of a California giant sequoia tree.



    Known as "nature's cathedrals," the giant sequoia of California are huge, very old, and very beautiful. But not everyone can hike through the Sequoia National Park and feel reverenced by their towering epicness. However, if you're in London over the next week or so, what you can do is experience a virtual reality installation inspired by these titans of the natural world.

    Called Treehugger: Wawona the installation is by Marshmallow Laser Feast. The name Wawona is a Native American Miwok word meaning "hoot of an owl" and references the Northern Spotted Owl, considered to be the Giant Sequoia's spirit guardian. The VR piece is currently on at the Southbank Centre as part of their Winter Festival and MLF describe it as combining "todays cultural hunger for mind-blowing experiences with art, environmentalism, and technology in an attempt to curb deforestation."



    To experience the piece, people put on a VR headset, place their head in the tree's knot, and travel inside, where abstract visuals awaitby letting you follow a drop of water from root to canopy or journey into the grooves of the bark which become huge cliffs. Keep hugging and you experience the psychedelic "treetime" energy flows at the canopy.



    The group collaborated with artist Natan Sinigaglia along with researchers at Londons Natural History Museum and Salford University, using LIDAR, white light, and CT scanning to define the point cloud style and textures of the tree.

    The circulatory system of the tree is also represented, but becomes a soundscape designed by Mileece IAnson, created from sonifying bio-signals. The external bioacoustics of the Sequoia National Park are also part of the journey, experienced as layered audio of birds, insects, amphibians, rain, and wind.



    The installation is the first chapter of what the group are calling a "virtual archive of rare and endangered trees" with the aim to help conservation with these "digital fossils" by populating virtual realms for people to experiencealbeit more abstract versions ofthe natural world, in the hope of giving people a greater understanding and respect for it.



    What if we could shift our perception of the world, accelerate time, see microscopic detail or even see through solid objects?" asks Barney Steel, MLF co-founder and creative director. "Well, now we can. VR makes this possible by making the invisible visible whilst distorting time and space to transform our perception of the world around us.





    Treehugger: Wawona is on now until December 29, 2016 at Southbank Centre, London. Learn more about the installation here. Learn more about Marshmallow Laser Feast at their website here.

    Source: Give a Giant Sequoia Tree a Hug in Virtual Reality | The Creators Project
    All images from Marshmallow Laser Feast
    12-20-2016 01:25 AM
  2. Graham Devereux's Avatar
    It's super cool that in the future educational instillations and software like this will allow people to better understand the world around them. Could have countless number of applications in different sectors.
    Chemy JMHT likes this.
    12-20-2016 01:34 AM
  3. pjs37's Avatar
    I agree; I hope these sorts of thing spread from outside of art displays though and into the home user environment as well.
    12-20-2016 01:30 PM
  4. Cale Hunt's Avatar
    I like trees. I'm going to give this a shot. Thanks for sharing with us!
    12-20-2016 10:07 PM
  5. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
    It's super cool that in the future educational instillations and software like this will allow people to better understand the world around them. Could have countless number of applications in different sectors.
    That and the new Virtual traveling will be more than just visiting the place, will be getting to parts you won't be able to go for several reasons, like some ancient ruins where is not allowed to public, or you need some special skills like the Cenotes in Mexico and so on.
    12-23-2016 01:41 PM

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-09-2017, 03:40 PM
  2. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 01-03-2017, 06:58 PM
  3. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 01-03-2017, 04:28 PM
  4. Strapping on the Sacred: When Religion Enters Virtual Reality
    By Chemy JMHT in forum VR News & Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-24-2016, 09:36 PM
  5. Nike Seeks 'Energy Harvesting,' Augmented-Reality Patents
    By Chemy JMHT in forum Augmented Reality
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-23-2016, 02:31 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD